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AirVPN Review & Test (2021) - Surprisingly Better than Others

Author Image Kate Veale
Kate Veale | Cybersecurity Researcher
Updated on 18th September 2021

AirVPN is a reliable, budget-friendly VPN with high-end security features. It offers unlimited bandwidth on 200+ servers across 20 countries.

Let’s take an in-depth look at its features and policies to find out if this is the best VPN for you.

AirVPN does work with Netflix, but it’s not quite the seamless streaming experience we’d hoped for, with slow speeds and ads. If you want speedy, uninterrupted streaming, check out our most highly-rated vendors for unblocking Netflix.

Just a short note to say that if you are looking for an easy solution for streaming the BBC iPlayer, AirVPN is not an option. For that, check out one of the VPNs we’ve vetted that works across all streaming platforms like ExpressVPN.

Does AirVPN Works with Netflix?

Yes, I was able to stream Netflix US using AirVPN. During my tests, I noticed a small speed reduction which caused the quality of my stream to drop. I resolved this by letting my stream load for a little while longer before pressing play.

AirVPN’s plans include unlimited bandwidth, which helps to reduce buffering and load times while you’re streaming and browsing.

I was disappointed to see that AirVPN’s app lacks an ad blocker. Using an ad blocker while you’re streaming eliminates the pop ups and mid-roll ads that can interrupt your show or movie. Although this isn’t an issue with Netflix, it is a useful feature to have if you use free or ad-supported streaming services like CWTV.

Looking for ad-free streaming and lightning-fast speeds? ExpressVPN is our #1 recommended vendor for streaming on Netflix for these reasons and much more. It can also unblock BBC iPlayer, unlike AirVPN.

Netflix US: Yes, I was able to stream Netflix US using AirVPN.
Hulu: Yes. I had no issues streaming Hulu with AirVPN.
HBO GO: Yes. AirVPN’s US servers can bypass HBO GO’s VPN blocks.
BBC iPlayer: No. BBC iPlayer detected that we were not within the UK, even when using a UK server.

BBC iPlayer georestriction error

AirVPN couldn’t bypass BBC iPlayer’s geo-restrictions

AirVPN Speeds

When you’re looking for a VPN, it’s important to choose a service with high-speed connections. If you’re stuck with a slow service, you won’t be able to play games, stream, or torrent.

It is normal to lose a little bit of speed when you connect to a VPN, particularly if you’re using a server overseas. This is because your data has to travel further, and because it takes extra time to encrypt and decrypt your data. However, when you use a premium VPN, this speed difference should be barely noticeable.

If you’re browsing local websites, you’ll get the best speeds by connecting to a server that’s close to your physical location. But if you’re streaming and need to bypass geoblocks, you’ll have to connect to a server that’s farther away.

AirVPN operates a smaller server network than most of its competition. When I began my testing, I discovered that it doesn’t have an Australian server at all. This means that, even when I connected to the recommended server, my data had to travel halfway across the world to the nearest server.

Despite this, I was very impressed with AirVPN’s connection speeds. For comparison, I tested my speed before I connected to AirVPN.

Speed test performed before connecting to AirVPN.

The closest AirVPN server to my location was in the UK. Considering the distance that my data had to travel to get to the VPN server, my speed loss was minimal. At 5.92ms, I could still browse, stream, and download without noticing any speed loss.

Speed test performed on an AirVPN server in London.

I was extremely surprised with my speeds when connected to AirVPN’s US server. At 10.63Mbps download, I had barely lost any speed at all. My ping did increase, but was well within the normal limits.

Speed test performed on an AirVPN server in the US.

Is AirVPN Good for Torrenting?

Yes. You can use any AirVPN for P2P connections. It does not limit or throttle P2P connections, so you can enjoy top speeds while you torrent.

Security – is AirVPN Safe?

Does AirVPN Keep Logs?

AirVPN keeps no record of your browsing activity or data. However, it is based in Italy, a member of the 14-Eyes Alliance.

According to its privacy policy, when you use AirVPN, your information is protected in compliance with EU data protection laws, even if you use a server outside the EU. Further to this, it states that it is under jurisdiction of the EU, and will only respond to European Union laws, and not those of the 14-Eyes Alliance.

airvpn review 5

AirVPN promises to keep your personal data safe

Does AirVPN Have an Adblocker?

Unfortunately, AirVPN does not have an ad blocker.

Does AirVPN Work in China?

Yes, but according to its users, you will need some technical skills to configure it so that it can bypass the Great Wall of China. Luckily, there are some helpful guides on the AirVPN forums to assist you.

Price and Value for Money

Does AirVPN Have a Free Version?

AirVPN does not offer a free trial on any of its services. If you’d like to test it out before subscribing, it offers a low-cost 3-day subscription.

AirVPN’s Refund Policy

If you aren’t satisfied with AirVPN’s service, you can apply for a refund in writing within three days of payment. AirVPN states that it will refund the cost within 30 days of your request as long as you haven’t violated its terms of service and/or used 5 GB of data or more.

Is AirVPN Compatible with My Device?

AirVPN is compatible with almost every device, including:

  • Windows
  • Linux
  • MacOS
  • Android
  • iOS
  • chromeOS
  • DD-WRT
  • Tomato
  • AsusWRT
  • pfSense
  • Tor
  • SSH & SSL Tunnel

You can also connect up to five of your devices with one account.

Encryption

AirVPN’s 256-bit encryption guarantees you the highest level of protection possible. It would take 50 supercomputers capable of checking a billion billion AES keys per second 3×1051 years to crack a single piece of your data with AirVPN’s protection.

Network Lock

AirVPN’s network lock prevents unprotected data from leaving your network when you’re not securely connected to a VPN server. Unlike an automatic kill switch, you’ll need to activate the network lock before connecting to your server.

Network Lock

You need to activate the Network Lock before connecting to a server

AirVPN Customer Service

I reached out to AirVPN through their online ticketing system. Although it took 48 hours for my ticket to be answered, the staff member I spoke with was professional, polite, and understanding.

I also checked out the forum to see how they handled customer’s questions and reviews. They were, again, extremely polite and helpful, even when dealing with complaints and complex problems. My only criticism is that they sometimes delivered highly technical answers without explaining them in easy-to-understand terms.

User Experience

AirVPN’s app is quick to install and easy to use. It‘s great for beginners, but it is a bit outdated. It lacks some of the features that more modern VPNs use, like optimized servers and automatic connections. This makes server selection a lengthy process and one that I found frustrating on more than one occasion.

Advanced users won’t be disappointed. You can customize almost every part of your VPN within the app. And, if you need some assistance, you can find extensive guides from AirVPN staff on the forums.

Settings

You can fully personalize your VPN experience

Once you‘ve logged in, you can choose to connect to the closest, fastest server automatically, or select your server manually.

You’ll need to whitelist the country you want to connect to in the Countries panel. Then, you’ll need to switch to the servers panel and filter through the list to find the one you need. This step is very tedious, and you may need to try several servers before you find one that can access the website you need.

Server selection

It’s not very easy to select the server you need within AirVPN’s client

I’d love to see AirVPN add some more ease-of-use features in the future, like a list of servers that are optimized for streaming services.

Overall, it’s a very intuitive app to use, even though it is time-consuming to find and connect to the right server.

Conclusion

When it comes down to it, AirVPN cuts some important corners to keep its prices low.

Its app is easy to use, but its lack of features makes it inconvenient. If you don’t need your VPN to bypass geoblocks, it may be a good, budget-friendly option for you. But if you’ll be changing servers regularly, you’ll need a VPN that makes it easy to do so.

That’s especially important if you’re changing between Netflix libraries. Why not check out our top VPNs for Netflix? Not only do these vendors offer unlimited server switches and ad-free browsing, but incredible speeds, too.

AirVPN was lightning-fast, even though I was connected to a server on the other side of the globe.

Its customer support staff are friendly are helpful, but unfortunately, their response time was quite slow when compared to its competitors. When you invest in a VPN to protect your privacy, it’s vital that its customer support staff can respond quickly if any problems arise. I’d like to see AirVPN invest in a live chat support system, but for now, their ticketing system is a big letdown.

If you’re looking for the fastest VPN for streaming, torrenting, or browsing, there are better recommendations I’d make over AirVPN. Instead, I suggest a provider with updated interfaces and timely, live chat customer support, like ExpressVPN or CyberGhost.

Price $4.80/month
Money Back Guarantee 30
Does VPN keep logs? No
Number of servers 200
Number of devices per license 5
Kill switch Yes
Based in country Italy
Supports torrenting No

Ease of Use

7.8

AirVPN is one of the simplest VPNs I’ve used, and I’ve used quite a few! You don’t need to have any technical knowledge to install or start using it. It’s perfect for beginners, but advanced users won’t be disappointed.

The registration process is straightforward, and it only took two minutes to install the app on my computer. Once the app opened, all I needed to do was enter my login information and hit connect.

Its app isn’t flashy, but it’s easy to understand and use. If you’re an advanced user, you can customize almost every aspect of your VPN in the app, but you don’t need to. It’s ready to go as soon as you log in. You can connect to the nearest recommended server or choose a server manually.

The app lacks a search function, and you need to whitelist individual countries before their servers will become available to you. This is easy, but time-consuming, and you’ll need to go through some trial and error to find a server that’s running at top speed in the country you choose.

Compare AirVPN with the top alternative VPNs

9.9
9.5
9.3
9.3

Pricing

8.7
One Year
$4.80 /month
Six Months
$5.68 /month
One Month
$8.23 /month

AirVPN offers a variety of plans to suit your needs, from three months to three years. I recommend testing it out with its 3-day trial plan before upgrading.

Its monthly plans will afford you more flexibility, but you will get a better overall deal if you opt for a one, two, or three-year subscription. All of its plans include the same VPN features.

Plan prices are all listed in euros. If you use a foreign currency, you’ll need to budget for conversion rates. It’s also worth checking if your bank or credit card charges a currency conversion fee.

It accepts 40+ payment methods, including PayPal, VISA, MasterCard, and American Express. AirVPN also accepts BitCoin payments for added anonymity.

Reliability & Support

7.8

AirVPN’s staff provide customer support via the forum and online ticketing system. Although there is a FAQ section on the site, it just links you to an almost-empty forum category. The rest of the forum is active, and staff tend to reply to posts within 48 hours.

If you use the ticketing system, you can expect to wait a minimum of two business days for a reply. AirVPN doesn’t provide a live chat option for customers. With so many VPNs offering instant customer support on their sites, it’s disappointing that AirVPN doesn’t use a more efficient customer service system. You need your VPN to protect you, so if it stops working, it’s important that you can access help quickly, regardless of the time of day.

With that said, I found the staff to be polite, professional, and helpful. They are genuinely interested in assisting their customers.

The Bottom Line

A reliable budget VPN service

AirVPN makes some compromises to keep its prices low.

Its app is outdated and lacks some of the features that come standard with many premium VPN apps, like optimized servers and a search function. Because of this, choosing a server is a time-consuming task. You’ll need to whitelist the country you want to connect to before searching through a list of all its servers for the one you want.

Unlike ExpressVPN and CyberGhost, AirVPN doesn’t tell you which services its servers can unlock. You’ll need to figure this out using trial and error.

However, it has a wider range of subscription options than most VPNs. AirVPN is also really well-priced. Its customer service is reliable, but it can take 48 hours to receive a response. If instant customer service is important to you, you should check out a VPN provider that uses live chat, like ExpressVPN.

AirVPN is a good, budget-friendly choice if you’re willing to compromise on a few time-saving features. But if you enjoy the convenience that modern VPN apps offer, I’d recommend trying ExpressVPN or CyberGhost.

  • ["Intuitive, straightforward platform","Offers OpenVPN over SSH, SSL, or Tor","Up to 5 simultaneous connections ","No maximum speed limit","4096 bit RSA keys size, AES-256-CBC Data Channel, HMAC SHA1 Control Channel","Open source","Over 200 servers across 20 countries "]
  • Get started with AirVPN now
Money Back Guarantee (Days) : 30
Mobile app :
Number of devices per license : 5
VPN Plans: www.airvpn.org

AirVPN User Reviews

8.4
Based on 40 reviews in 5 languages
Jhon
Very bad performance - 2
Jhon -
Sep 16, 2021

AirVPN is by far the slowest VPN I have ever used. Whichever protocol and/or server I have used, it didn't make any difference. My internet speed decreased by over 90%, download speed as well as upload speed. When you take a look at the AirVPN forum, you will notice loads of users are experiencing the same issue, for which AirVPN obviously has no solutions.

Anonymous
Reliable and secure global VPN - 10
Anonymous

Just signed up for 2 more years with AirVPN. Yes, there are other higher-rated services, but AirVPN always works perfectly and is reasonably priced. I run it on Windows, Linux, and OSX, which does limit the contenders. The main usage is secure browsing when traveling and file transfer. I like that it uses OpenVPN and also that it is NOT at the top of the list. OpenVPN is very secure and with a lower rating is unlikely to be a hacking / DOS/government target. I could go on about great AirVPN is, but really, it would be like telling you how much I like my water or electricity utility. It just works and I don't think about it more than once every two years when I need to renew my subscription.

Baymil
First rate VPN for those that are into things OTHER than Netflix, gaming etc. - 10
Baymil

If you are a journalist, dissident, researcher, blogger, commenter, troll (LOL), etc. this is a VPN to seriously consider. It's well respected within those circles. Works with TOR as "VPN over Tor" and has settings to make this a bit easier, but does take some level of skill to set this highly anonymous (and potential attention-drawing) configuration up. Many of the advised VPNs DO NOT work with TOR in "VPN OVER Tor mode (Your VPN connects through the Tor network not vice-versa). This is not your "regular Joe consumer" VPN. It's for folks with far more to do than watching videos and playing video games. The server selection is more than enough to move around the globe.

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